copyright Roxann Phillips

copyright Roxann Phillips

Look alive.  Here comes a buzzard.

Basta!!  You see me (looking dramatic in B&W, I think) and I know what you imagine: death, evil, decaying  flesh.

Contemplate for a moment. Where would you sci-fi, futuristic doom-mongers be without me?  Your future always holds darkness, war, and death. Bodies everywhere.  So you need us.  The carrion-birds.  Cleaning up your messes so you don’t die of terrible diseases due to all that rotting flesh.  (Zombie apocalypse people, this means you, too.)  A little gratitude wouldn’t come amiss!

But instead? “Bird brain” is bad enough, but “buzzard breath” and “old buzzard?”  Beyond the pale!  How would you feel?


(The title is a saying by Lady Stella Reading.)
Constructive criticism and comments appreciated.


Each Friday Madison Woods’ Friday Fictioneers write 100 words, more or less, on a picture posted on the site:  You may read all the  offerings (or feel free to join in) at:

  1. flyoverhere says:

    HaHa, made me laugh! Good job!

    • Thanks. It was meant to as well as be an antidote to all the evil, futuristic stories that are on their way (or have already arrived.) 🙂 Poor old buzzard! When I looked up buzzards online, a lot of them look like hawks and are quite beautiful. Not what I’d expected.

  2. Hadn’t come across Stella Reading before… interesting anglo-american connection. Good take on the image too, turning the tables on our stereotypes about scavengers. Resonated with me as I am struggling withthe question, ‘am I too critical of others’?

    • I haven’t looked up Stella Reading before; keep wanting to confuse her with Stella Rimmington, former head of MI-5 and author of some books I very much enjoy.

      I’m glad this gave you something to think about. I, too, find it much to easy to be critical of someone or something else. Perhaps taking a moment to try to look at it from their point of view would help. Good luck!

  3. boomiebol says:

    ha ha ha…revenge of the buzzards coming soon lol. Well done!!! And dare i say they are doing us a huge favor lol.
    Thanks for stopping by mine

    • Seriously, carrion-eaters, even though not the evil prey birds/animals of our imaginations, really do us a great favor! We’d be knee-deep in all sorts of doo-doo if they didn’t do their jobs…a bit like our under-appreciated garbage man, subject of one of my much earlier posts.

  4. billgncs says:

    smile — perhaps the buzzard codeward is beak softly and carry a big stick ? Nicely done

  5. TheOthers1 says:

    LOL! Someone does not appreciate the name calling. I see where he’s coming from though. All that work and not appreciation? I’d be mad too.

  6. Gave me a good chuckle. “…cleaning up our messes…” We were on the same page as I used the same term. Nice work. I’m #14 on the list.

  7. Jan Brown says:

    I love both the story and its title! Nice take on the picture! Enjoy your work very much!

  8. Carrie says:

    the poor misunderstood buzzard…fun read 🙂

  9. Let’s hear it for the vultures! Nicely done.

  10. Kwadwo says:

    Another grumbling black bird. Looks like there isn’t enough appreciation going around.
    Humorous, but true. The carrion cleaners are indispensable.

  11. I love stories written from the point of view of another species. Humans are so very self-absorbed, aren’t they? My story’s on the list.

  12. Great perspective, and a reminder that everyone (and everything) has value and a place in the world. Nice work.

    I’m here:

  13. Reminds me of that expression ‘Grumpy Old Men’ and the idea that some things in nature just are the way they are, stage of life, consequence of deterioration, aging. Well done, excellent piece.
    I’m participating for the first time, do hope you will visit:

    • Thanks and welcome, Claire. I’m working my way through the list (just finished Doug at #43, so I’m staggering your way as fast as real life allows!) I try to do a couple, then do my work, then return for a couple more and so on. See you a bit later today.

  14. JKBradley says:

    Completely underappreciated. You are correct!

    • Glad you liked it. I’ve already “liked” yours. Just working my way through the list and hopefully getting near the end. But it always seems someone else posts. 🙂

  15. Preach! Where would we be without nature’s disposals? (I loved the zombie line — but would that lead to zombie vultures?).

  16. rgayer55 says:

    This is the 2nd one today that’s praised the buzzards. Maybe we should start a big buzzards & sisters club, or take a buzzard to lunch day. How about a reality show–Make a Buzzard Gag!
    Great take on the prompt, Janet.

    • Thanks. If you look up “buzzard” on the internet, you’ll see birds that look like hawks, not like vultures. It’s quite interesting. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I praise buzzards (and vultures) in the way I praise garbage men…they do a much needed job and we’d be in a lot of mess if we didn’t have them! 🙂

      I like the buzzards and sisters club. I’ll be a sister!

  17. Loved the title and all that followed. The carrion birds do get short shrift from most humans, though they are revered by Buddhists and used to good effect in the Himalayas. Wonderfully wry story. Broought a smile to my weathered visage.



    • Doug, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Good humor is so healthy!!

      I want to let you know that I like your thoughtful comments on the various posts. Your comments are helpful and encouraging.

  18. Quill Shiv says:

    Carrions do clean up the garbage! Well done! 😀

  19. Kris Kennedy says:

    I like the point of view with a tinge of humor

  20. Oh yes…the lowly vulture. Unappreciated until he goes on strike. Then we are in a world of hurt!

    ~Susan (

  21. claireful says:

    I love how you’re addressing the reader directly and specifically writers – not many pieces do that. Thanks for reading mine.

  22. Lovely presentation of the other point of view! And ol’ bird-brain has a point, especially about the apocalypse fans. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it?

  23. Sonia Lal says:

    aww poor thing. made me laugh.

  24. A place for everything and everything in it’s place…I think that applies to the food chain too? I like this bird’s good old rant!

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